A New (to me) Moth – Promethea

The Promethea moth (Callosamia promethea) lives in Texas, but not the part where I live – they want the far-eastern reaches of the state, up against Louisiana. They have a wide range in the eastern US, all the way to the Atlantic.

These are the eggs after hatching. They remind me a lot of the Eri silkmoth, Samia ricini and the Calleta Silkmoth, Eupackardia calleta, both of which are cousins of Promethea.

On the day of hatching, the larvae are very big-headed. They tend to be gregarious; they will wander for a while, but then settle in little clumps. They remind me of tiny sheep, the way they line up shoulder-to-shoulder to eat.

Although they’re only a day older than the hatchlings, these guys have noticeably lengthened out – and you can see the clumping behavior. They will stick together like this until they get to the third instar, if they follow the pattern of their cousins… we’ll see as they grow up!

These guys tend to prefer tulip tree and sassafras and spice bush – I have them on sweetgum (liquidambar), as I don’t have easy access to the other trees. They seem to be doing OK so far.

2 replies
  1. Carla
    Carla says:

    It will be so interesting to see these develop. I’m curious to see if all the instars have the same stripey patterns as the hatchlings. Please keep the pictures coming!

    Our paths have never crossed, but as a tablet-weaver, spinner, braider, knitter, etc. I’ve followed your work for many years.

  2. Goldilox
    Goldilox says:

    Fabulous photos, as per usual. This is only my first year with silkmoths (Bombyx mori), but I find the whole subject of silkmoths really fascinating. I never knew there were so many different types. As Carla says, keep the photos and info coming. You’re our inspiration!!

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